The Chainlink

So I tend to be a bit of a jerk when I see bikers on the sidewalk riding at anything more than a walking gate. I get it there are times when you first leave a place where you may find that you have to cruise for a little but should get on the road sooner rather than later. 

Do any of you chastise other riders you run into on the Sidewalks? 

Me I politely suggest that they should be on the road and am amazed by the a-hole responses I get.

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Tom,
Do you think the society you describe is the way things should be?
Never say anything to anyone, never speak up, due to constant looming threat of physical violence?

Old Tom said:
I don't say anything to anybody unless I'm willing to throw hands. As at my age I'm not willing to engage in fisticuffs so I keep my mouth shut. You younger people may not know it, especially those who live in the city's youth ghettos, but this used to be a town where lots of people were ready and willing to paste you. Including white collar guys. But that was when white collar guys were regular guys, before they became "yuppies". My father was a white collar guy and would nail you right now; when I was a kid I saw him drag a cabbie right out of his window and give him a beating at Madison and Crawford. But he grew up at 22nd and Millard back in the 30s and 40s when the Irish, Jews, Poles and Bohemians were real scrappers.
"Tom,
Do you think the society you describe is the way things should be?
Never say anything to anyone, never speak up, due to constant looming threat of physical violence?"


I'm not sure H3. But it seems to me that people were much more civil and considerate. Maybe I'm full of beans and just observing life through a haze of nostalgia.

The other thing is I have an Irish temper and if I speak up to someone and they react the way some in this thread have described miscreants reacting I'd have to react back. And I don't want that; that's about controlling myself not others. So I just let things slide rather than risk a "fight or flight" situation.
my mom lives in tinley park on the south side. I have a 20 year old brother who gets together with his friends and every thursday and they have there own little mini mass. i've gone with a few times and we have between 15 to 30 people. on one ride we were stopped by the police 3 separate times. the police told us that we HAD to ride on the sidewalk. we even got pulled over by a motorcycle cop. it was kind of funny but sad in a way. here i am trying to teach a bunch of suburban kids how to ride on the street in a safe responsible way, and the cops are trying to scare people off the road and on to the sidewalk. downtown tinley park is a busy place with lots of pedestrians. can you imagine 30 people swerving in between crowds of people. is there somewhere i can get a copy of the rules of the road where it says anyone over the age of 12 belongs on the street.
I agree, they are our people! I wish there were some easy sign that I could hold up to them as they ride past, something like "Hey, join me on the road here, it ain't so bad!" Of course, I also agree that sometimes it isn't worth saying something.

However, I've had some friends who I know are "those people" and I always try to take the opportunity to encourage them to ride in the road. I always tell them that they'll get used to it and soon they will be pros!

heather stratton said:
We share the street with motorists, despite a good number of them being annoying or dangerous or not paying attention to their surroundings. It's not a direct analogy, since sidewalk cycling is illegal. But some perspective is helpful... cyclists are not pleasant to share the sidewalk with, but they likely won't kill you.

I have sympathy for sidewalk riders. I feel like... they're our people! They're so close! They're just in need of a little education and support. I can understand feeling fearful of sharing the road with car traffic.

But -- and I know it's unfair that all cyclists are frequently judged based on the actions of a few -- I cringe when I see adults riding recklessly and unnecessarily on the sidewalk, because I worry that they make us all look like jerks.
I wish you guys lived in my part of town- around here a lot of people don't seem to know any better but to ride on the sidewalk. And the pedestrians don't even seem to know they should be upset about it!
Just the other day I saw an elderly lady tooling around running errands to the shops on Cermak on her trike with a big basket on it. She took up the whole sidewalk, practically, and I'd be willing to bet she barely even broke one mile an hour-- had there been any pedestrians around they would have been totally trapped behind her. I was running late and didn't have time to tell her to get her butt in the street where it belongs but if we had more concerned cyclists around here I'll bet this sort of thing wouldn't happen.
"Just the other day I saw an elderly lady tooling around running errands to the shops on Cermak on her trike with a big basket on it. "

I'm inclined to give slow old people a break; she might'a been doing the best she can.

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